Dawn Institute strives to provide quality educational material free of charge to our community. Browse our extensive catalog of articles written by our therapists on a variety of mental health topics.



Raising Them to Leave Us Fostering Resilience  Pt. 2

Fostering resilience in teens can be scary for us as parents as we learned in Part 1 of this blog post. By providing them with the appropriate supports, we are helping them to launch successfully into adulthood. Early development of resilience. The fundamentals of resiliency start in infancy and continue on into early childhood. During this period, little ones are completely reliant on their primary attachment figure, be it a parent or other caregiver, to meet their every need. Through this bond they learn to trust and that they are worthy of having their needs met. Lots of nurturing and lots of

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Raising Them to Leave Us: Fostering Resilience

As a parent, our primary job is to protect our kids. It sounds simple, right? Well, that’s what I thought when I became a mother to a bouncing baby boy. You see, I didn’t have the greatest beginning to life so decided I was going to use my experience to my advantage. I thought to myself, I truly know about the awful things that my fellow parent-friends didn’t know so I was going to be able to spot every red flag before there’s even a hint of danger and my kids would be so much better off for it. I was

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Parenting Your Teen Through Mental Health Struggles

Raising my four girls has been the hardest, yet most rewarding job. Although I do not view it as a job, but my biggest priority. Somehow (and without a guidebook) parents must take these tiny human beings and mold them into productive members of society. Gulp, that’s a big responsibility to swallow. We also need to monitor their physical and emotional wellness. Then some parents must add in additional factors, like mental health struggles. So, how can we parent our teen through mental health struggles? An Open and Honest Relationship First, having an open and honest relationship with your children

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Social Media

Is social media running your life? It’s a fun way to pass the time and can help to keep us connected with our friends and loved ones, but is social media having a greater impact on you than how you spend your free time? Presence in Society Today, our businesses, culture, and relationships are structured around the presence of social media in our society; it’s nearly impossible to escape it! While it can be an incredible tool to help build a business, connect with friends, get support from others, or even gain education on current issues, it can also become

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Understanding Teens: When is it more than normal mood swings

It’s normal for teens to be moody but when are the mood swings a sign of something more? Understanding teens is not impossible, we promise. Teenage Behaviors In the adolescent and teenage years, it is very common for young people to start pushing for more independence, engaging in more risky behavior, and challenging authority.  Essentially, the teen brain is wired to test limits and distance themselves from parents as they begin to individualize.  And while some do this in a “healthy” way, some teens seem to go to extremes.  Separateness Teenagers become irritable as they begin to develop an identity

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Attachment Trauma

If you struggle with relationships, you are not alone. There are some dominant cultural narratives that assumes there is something wrong with us, but science and research offers us a more expansive view. Our relationship challenges may be rooted in what is known as “attachment trauma”. Attachment Theory We need to first understand attachment to understand attachment trauma. Attachment theory argues humans are born with a need to form a close emotional bond with a caregiver and that attachment is critical to a young child’s development. Both the presence and quality of attachment matter. If our bonding is strong, we

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Parenting A Child With Trauma

            As a parent it can be really difficult figuring out how to help your child or teen who has experienced some type of trauma.  We can’t take their pain away.  Or make them forget their pain.  We can’t ignore that it happened.  So how do we help them?  What do we do to make it better?  How do we fix it??? How to Support Their Journey to Healing            HA, that’s the golden question!  And the simple answer is…we can’t.  I think when we finally come to that realization, it makes helping our kiddos and teens navigate through their trauma

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How Fostering Challenged My Relationships

There are many relationships that happen through being a foster parent. If I had to name them all, it would probably take up most of this blog. Then there are relationships with friends and family that were there before we became foster parents. When I became a foster parent in 2016, I heard about all the challenges with behaviors and all the challenges I would face in relation to the child coming into my home, but what I did not realize is the challenges it would add to my own relationships. Relationship with significant other It was about 6 months

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Importance of Positive Relationships for Our Mental Health

Relationships of all types have a direct effect on our day to day lives and emotions.  I’m sure you’ve experienced having a fight with your kiddo or teen, partner, family member, boss, etc. and it just put you in a bad mood…I know I have!  That’s because interactions and connections affect our mind and our body.  Positive vs Negative Talk I often find myself having a talk with my clients about positive and negative language.  Consider the social experiments schools had their students do a plant.  If not seen it, watch it here.  Definitely worth it!  The school took two

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